Grand National hero One For Arthur again failed to complete as Wakanda claimed top honours in the Peter Marsh Chase at Haydock.
It is almost two years since Lucinda Russell’s One For Arthur became only the second Scottish-trained winner of the world’s most famous steeplechase, and he made an inauspicious return from a lengthy absence when unseating Tom Scudamore at the third fence back at Aintree last month.
Reunited with his Grand National partner Derek Fox, the 10-year-old at least made it further on this occasion, but was struggling to keep tabs on the leaders from an early stage before eventually parting company with his rider four fences from home.
Russell said: “He’s still a little bit rusty and did go a bit left at his fences, so we’ll have to sort that out.
“I don’t know if he’s feeling something – we’ll have to get him checked out.
“He looks fine, but obviously it was a bit disappointing.”
At the business end of proceedings, it was 6-1 shot Wakanda who came out on top – providing trainer Sue Smith with a fourth victory in the race following the previous triumphs of The Last Fling (2000), Artic Jack (2004) and Cloudy Too (2016).
The 10-year-old jumped and travelled with elan in the hands of Danny Cook, and knuckled down well from the final fence to prevail by a length and three-quarters from Robinsfirth.
Cook said: “He’s a very good stayer who jumps great and travelled great today.
“Even when he got in tight to one or two of the fences, he picked himself up and was very quickly away from them – so I knew I was in for a good ride even at that early stage.
“He’s got a great attitude, and did it well.”
Paddy Power introduced Wakanda into their Grand National market at 40-1.
However, when asked about a tilt at the Aintree spectacular, Cook added: “Maybe the Scottish National. I’m not so sure about the Grand National for him.”